The European Union is not in a position to deal with another migration crisis like the one seen in 2015 and must act to try to keep people from fleeing the growing conflict in Afghanistan, Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said on Wednesday.
Mitararakis, who last week co-signed a letter with ministers from five other EU countries saying that deportations of failed asylum-seekers should continue despite the fighting, said ending such returns “would send the wrong message” and encourage more Afghans to try to reach Europe.
He said the EU should offer more support to help Turkey mitigate the pressures of more migrant arrivals from Afghanistan and said the bloc could not absorb another crisis such as the one faced in 2015.
“Absolutely not, the EU is not ready and does not have the capacity to handle another major migration crisis,” Mitarakis told Reuters.
Many EU member states are worried that the developments in Afghanistan could trigger a replay of Europe’s 2015 migration crisis when more than a million people, most of them Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis, arrived in Europe seeking refuge.